Excel Updates

Excel mention · May 14, 2018

How to Find Records Automatically in Google Sheets, Excel, and Zapier

Spreadsheets excel at crunching numbers. Add a column of figures—your sales or expenses, perhaps—and a quick formula =SUM(A1:A10) can add them up or =AVERAGE(A1:A10) returns the average price. They’re flexible yet powerful. Databases are better at connecting enormous amounts of data across different...read more
Excel mention · December 14, 2017

Best of 2017: 30 Web Apps and Software Trends That Ruled the Workplace

Each year the Zapier team publishes an updated version of this report. Check the latest list of Fastest Growing Apps for this year. Sometimes new isn't new, it's just a better version of the old thing. Spreadsheets, for instance, are ancient—the first software people often bought for...read more
Excel mention · September 13, 2017

The 12 Best Free Form Apps and Survey Builder Tools

Forms are one of the best ways to gather data. Ask whatever questions you want, share the form with your fans, and watch the answers come in. Surveys get even more focused results, with specific questions that are quick to fill out and quicker to summarize. Gathering data in a...read more
Excel mention · August 8, 2017

How to Automatically Clean Up Spreadsheet Data with OpenRefine

Ever had to manually edit dusty, messy, years-old information from some obsolete software? I once worked for a company that stored paperwork offsite for 60 years. Materials were indexed in a document table. Most records had a box number, storage date, storage vendor receipt number, and a rough idea of...read more
Excel mention · May 30, 2017

The Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Excel Online

Excel is synonymous with spreadsheets, and for good reason. Decades after its introduction on the original Macintosh, Excel continues to be the most powerful spreadsheet app. It's not just a desktop app anymore, either. Today, you can use Excel on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even the web. That...read more
Excel mention · March 20, 2017

Excel Macros Tutorial: How to Record and Create Your Own Excel Macros

Spreadsheets are infinitely flexible—especially in Excel, one of the most powerful spreadsheet apps. Most people use only a small percentage of their seemingly countless possibilities, however. Yet it doesn't take years of training to take advantage of spreadsheets' power and the automation magic of Excel macros. You likely...read more
Excel mention · December 13, 2016

20 Web Apps That Ruled the Workplace in 2016

Each year the Zapier team publishes an updated version of this report. Check the latest list of Fastest Growing Apps for this year. Few things grab the Zapier team's attention like popular new apps—and we're not alone. Whenever the next Pokémon Go or Snapchat comes out, you...read more
Matthew Guay
Reviewed by Matthew Guay
Last updated May 28, 2018

When numbers need crunched, there's one program most people reach for by default: Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets are the original killer app for PCs, and after VisiCalc's original popularity, Excel took the lead as the most popular spreadsheet tool. It—along with the other Office applications—are some of the few programs you can find on almost any computer.

And for good reason. Excel includes more functions than most other spreadsheet tools, and is powerful enough on PCs to handle workbooks with over 17 million cells. Until recently, the only problem has been that you need a copy of Excel installed on your Mac or PC to view or edit spreadsheets.

That, even, is now changed with Excel Online in Office 365. It's an online version of Excel, with most of Excel's core features along with extra tools like the new Microsoft Forms app, Office Add-ins, Excel integrations with hundreds of business apps, and data visualization tools like Microsoft BI. Each of those let you do more with Excel than you ever could on your PC.

It starts with OneDrive for Business, part of all business and enterprise Office 365 plans. OneDrive's file sync tools let you save Excel workbooks—and other files—in one folder and have them automatically synced to all of your other devices or shared with your colleagues. You can then edit Excel files from any of those devices, using normal Excel on your Mac, PC, or mobile device with Excel for iOS or Android.

Or, for more web integrations—and to edit spreadsheets from any web browser—go to Office.com, select the Excel app, and login with your Office 365 Business account. There, you can make new spreadsheets, or preview and edit existing spreadsheets you and your team have synced to OneDrive for Business.

Excel Online works much like traditional Excel apps on a PC. There's a ribbon toolbar with Home, Insert, Data, Review, and View tabs each with tools to help you edit your spreadsheet, format data, and visualize it in charts. There's also a handy search bar—just type in the function you're looking for, and select it from the search results instead of hunting for it from the ribbon tabs.

For the most part, working with spreadsheets online feels the same as it would in Excel on your PC. It includes 452 functions—nearly as many as traditional Excel—25 chart styles, and all of the core style, formatting, and sorting tools. You can't create pivot tables, sparklines, or some of the other more advanced Excel features, but if you open a spreadsheet that already includes them, you can view and edit them online.

Then, there are features that are new to Excel Online. Since it's running in your web browser, you can share the file with anyone else—through OneDrive, an email, or with a link—and live co-edit the file together online. Or, add comments to the spreadsheet so your coworkers can pick up work on the same spreadsheet where you left off.

Need to gather data online? Excel Online includes a new Microsoft Forms tool, where you can build a quick survey and have the results saved to an Excel Online spreadsheet automatically. Or, for extra charting, data analysis, and other tools, the Office Add-ins button lets you can add extra tools and integrations to your spreadsheets. Zapier's Excel integrations also lets you connect Excel to over 1,000 other apps, to automatically log PayPal and Stripe sales, Salesforce and Highrise contacts, and much more to your Excel spreadsheets. And thanks to OneDrive sync, you can view the data that's added to your spreadsheets online automatically in Excel on your PC if you'd like.

Excel's still the reliable, powerful spreadsheet tool you remember—and with its new online sidekick, it's learned a few new tricks. You can now collaborate on Excel spreadsheets and bring in data from web apps easier than ever, all while using the same Excel functions and visualizations you're used to.

→ See a full list of the 465 functions supported by Microsoft Excel and the full features of Excel Online, or learn more about Office 365 features and pricing.

Originally published April 18, 2018; updated May 28, 2018 with latest features and pricing

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Microsoft's Excel is a spreadsheet application used by millions of users across the world. It is part of the Office ecosystem and is considered the industry standard for spreadsheets. Only files on OneDrive for Business (available with Office 365 and Sharepoint server) are supported at this time with Zapier.